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Telephone:+46 70-750 22 16
Address: Kostfonden/DSF
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269 39 Båstad

An important meeting:
the Nordic study of diet in type 2 diabetes takes shape


Another ball is rolling! On Tuesday researchers from Denmark, Norway and Sweden met to jointly design a study of diet in type 2 diabetes. The goal is to answer a fundamental question for the management of diabetes: Is a low-carbohydrate diet a more effective treatment for type 2 diabetes than the traditionally recommended low-fat diet?

At the risk of being labeled as supernerds, we at the Dietary Science Foundation want to tell you that last Tuesday was one of the funnest, most exciting days we’ve had for quite a while. Some of the sharpest minds in Nordic nutrition gathered at the home of Nina Rehnqvist, member of the DSF’s Scientific Advisory Board, to plan a VIP (Very Important Project): an evaluation of dietary advice given to people with type 2 diabetes.

We’ll start by presenting Simon Dankel, a researcher at the Center for Nutrition at the University of Bergen and Haukelands University Hospital. Simon will lead the study. Here he’s telling us about one of his research group’s previous projects where they tested the effect of eating a strict low-carbohydrate diet that had a relatively high saturated fat content, for three months (with interesting results).

Simon Dankel traveled to Stockholm with two of his colleagues from the Center for Nutrition in Bergen:  Professor Gunnar Mellgren and PhD student Johnny Laupsa-Borge (who developed a smart mobile app to help participants follow the dietary advice during the studies.)

From the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports came researcher Thomas Meinert Larsen. He presented the Danish research group and told us (among other things) that they are currently taking part in a major European study, PREVIEW, which aims to prevent diabetes.

The researchers with the shortest travel time to the meeting were from Karolinska University Hospital: Neda Rajamand Ekberg, Anneli Björklund and Kerstin Brismar. In this picture Neda Rajamand Ekberg informs us about a study where the group investigated the effects of different types of meals on blood glucose and blood lipids:

When the research groups had presented themselves, we had a long conversation focusing on the important issues: How can we design a study that will make as good and fair a comparison as possible of the traditional diabetic diet and a strict low-carb diet in type 2 diabetes? What should be measured? How long should it last? What’s the best way to get participants to follow a special diet for an extended period of time?

Here it looks like we’re eating …

… and that’s just what we’re doing. But between chews we’re talking about hardening of the arteries, inflammation markers, insulin resistance, continuous glucose monitoring systems and the results of other studies in the field.

While we were immersed in all the scientific details, this wonderful person took the opportunity to take photos of us:

Thank you Bitte Kempe Björkman for your support during the day!

We got an important ball rolling. The study is not designed yet, but many ideas and thoughts came up during the meeting.

The researchers plan to meet again this fall. A detailed application for funding of the study should be completed by the end of 2018. In the spring of 2019 researchers will then seek funding from a number of major research financiers: the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, AFA Insurance, Stockholm County Council and several others. The goal is for the study to start in the spring of 2020 (researchers need to have great patience).

At the Dietary Science Foundation we will do everything possible to support the work of this amazing group. The more money we collect, the faster the study can get started. It is essential for everyone with type 2 diabetes to find out how to combat their disease most effectively. And for the economies of our respective countries it is absolutely crucial. WHO estimates that globally, 422 million people have type 2 diabetes. In order to reverse this devastating epidemic, we need to use the best means we have: good food.

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